I had my Kellogg interview today (you can also find this interview report at Clear Admit's Wiki
) The interview was held at McKinsey's offices in the SF's Bank of America building. I had a 10:00 a.m. slot -- Kellogg alums ran the 1:1 interviews -- 12 applicants per hour starting with the 9 a.m. slot and ending with the 1 p.m. slot.
I was matched up with a recent Kellogg alumn ('01) who had pursued brand management following Kellogg. There was an added bonus -- following her consumer products stint, she went to work for a bay area consumer tech company, and had a good sense / grasp of what I do for a living (agency PR focused on technology clients).
After some initial chit-chat, we got down to business. The flow went something like this, with lots of follow-up q's and back-and-forth conversation:
1. Walk me through your resume?
2. What are your short-term career goals?
3. What are your long-term career goals?
4. Why Kellogg?
5. What is it about Kellogg that attracts you to the school?
6. Describe a time when you were a leader.
7. What do you do for fun?
8. What do you want to get involved in when if you are accepted at Kellogg?
The conversation lasted an hour. There was also some discussion about how I had improved my candidacy -- as I felt it was in my best interest to communicate that I was a reapplicant this year.
Overall I think I made a good impression. I was nervous, but a good kind of nervous, the sort where I perform well. I was definitely enthusiastic. I think perhaps the only thing I could have improved was reigning in the scope/breadth of a couple of my responses. All in all, I can say that I definitely was myself -- Kellogg saw the real me, even if I was
a bit excited.
Finally, I should add that I met up with bay area blogger Sorebrek
at the interview sessions. We actually had a chance to chat a few minutes prior to our respective interviews. Witnessing my interaction with Sorebrek, my interviewer asked me if I was already making friends with the prospects... I actually had to confess that I had met Sorebrek 'online,' which I quickly qualified with an explanation of the tightknit MBA blogging community.
The Wharton app status changed today from 'received' to 'complete for round 2.' A student reviewer may be reading my essays as I type this.
The last two weeks have been a period of reflection about the entire application process, from studying, to conducting career research, to conducting school research, to finalizing target schools, to writing essays and to finally hitting 'submit.' The most persistent challeng was simply finding the time and energy outside of work to do all of this. Although the hours are tolerable, the pace in my workplace can be absolutely brutal. Sitting down to write essays on weeknights, I often found myself completely tapped of energy, mentally and physically. In October, November and December, I definititely had to make sacrifices in the workplace... I took longer on some projects, delegated more work and was slightly less involved all-around. Although I felt a bit guilty, I considered the sacrifice worth it... the energy this helped me to preserve was critical in the last mile of the application process.
So the wait continues. Although my pre-decision anxiety remains at increased levels, I find myself much more relaxed at work and at home. Challenges and obstacles at the office seem easier to tackle. I have more time to spend with my girlfriend after work and on the weekends. I sleep better... and I am probably more pleasant to be around ;)
the wait for a decision. Just a few days after my final submission, I am already beside myself with anxiety. To top it off, I caught a typo (repeated word, out of place in sentence) in one of my Wharton essays. Embarrassing, but not a major deal as my other essays are typo free. Just embarrassing that I made the oversight.
I find myself analyzing what on earth I'll do if I don't get into one of my target programs. I have no desire to attend a lesser school. If forced to apply again (need to get rid of that thought), I want to avoid changing employers. But, for many reasons, I'm at the point in my career where I'm having trouble even contemplating the thought of staying on for another year.
As for my chances, I feel good about my about Kellogg and o.k. about Wharton and Haas. I feel that I did an excellent job thoroughly researching each school and really driving home the points (with specific supporting details from student/alum conversations and my own reading, etc.) on why each program makes sense and is a good fit for my goals and my background. Although I consider my Wharton app stronger than my Haas app (based solely on the fact that I had an extra month to work on Wharton), Wharton's average numbers (GPA and GMAT) trend a bit higher, which gives me some pause.
Enough paranoia for now. I will know by mid-Feb whether I have an interview at either Wharton or Haas. If yes, then I'll have to wait up to another month on a yes/no/waitlist decision.
On the bright side of things, I have a tremendous, and I mean TREMENDOUS amount of free time on my hands. What did I do with myself before I started this whole process last May? I honestly can't remember. One activity that has kept me busy is celabratory drinks. This weekend I ended up having quite a few beers... though not enough to suffer any serious day-after ramifications... just a bit of sleepiness. As a matter of fact, I should be meeting up with SF MBA blogger Marina
(and hopefully some other Bay bloggers!) soon, for a celabratory drink. She has challenged me to a beer drinking duel... and I don't think she knows who she is up against! ;)
I received notification that my off-campus Kellogg interview will happen on January 28 in San Francisco. No doubt I will make use of several resources to prep for this, including Clear Admit's
wiki and Marina's
Kellogg interview recap.
For tonight, I have no worries. Today was my first non-application stress day in eight months. I just dropped $250 in gift cards on new clothes, and my girlfriend is throwing me a celebratory dinner in North Beach. Oh, happy day!
And so, eight months following my last school denial, the reapplication process (minus interviews) has come to a close. I am thrilled to be done... and I am hopeful to get an admission. From GMAT practice tips, to test-taking sanity, to MBA program research, to essay writing tips, to juggling the demands of work with this insane process... I have learned a tremendous amount over the last eight months. Most importantly, this process has taught me that there's a fire in ma' belly, and I am ready to take on any future challenge.
Bordering on exhaustion this morning. Behind on workload. Need coffee.... but Wharton is in!!!
Word of advice -- just have your undergrad institution send official transcripts. Filling out the self-report form was more of a time-suck than I anticipated, especially where I had to manually calculate my year-by-year GPAs.
Was hoping to have Kellogg in today as well, but that looks more likely Thursday night at the earliest, but probably Friday morning.
Two down, one to go!
Special thanks to all of my essay editors! :)